A priest walks into a bar fight.
Not literally, or of his own accord, but because the Catholic church has been dragged into a dispute between two bar bosses in Durban.
The dispute, between the owners of Dropkick Murphy’s (the interior of which is pictured above) and Republik, is about who does and doesn’t get to sell liquor on Florida Road.
The collateral damage? Everyone trying to have a quiet drink after work, or Sunday mass.
Here’s TimesLIVE with the details:
“There is a war on this road. The only reason we don’t have a [liquor] licence is because of our competition,” said Republik owner Matt Richardson (below).
He accused Laurence Dinsdale of Dropkick Murphy’s of stalling his liquor licence application with frivolous and nonsensical objections.
“Their letter [of objection] said we were close to a church and too close to schools and parks where children play, but they’re next door and probably closer to the church than we are,” he said.
The objection has pushed the matter to a formal hearing with the KZN Liquor Authority, which is the final step before the granting or refusal of a licence to sell booze.
Here’s Laurence Dinsdale looking super chill:
In Dinsdale’s letter of objection, he cites proximity to the church and a local park, alongside proximity to a block of flats in which he owns property.
“We need to have a hearing and we just don’t know when that will happen. In the interim I’m probably losing half a million rand a month in revenue. Our business can’t sustain another two months like this,” said Richardson.
Father Brett Williams of St Joseph’s Catholic Church says that the church isn’t at all opposed to the liquor licence.
“How can [the owner of] Dropkick Murphy’s object to them [Republik] getting a licence when they are right next door? In fact, they are closer. We have never objected and we would never. There are three churches on this road and if we all objected the entire road would collapse,” he said.
“Our parishioners come to mass and then go across to have a drink and a meal. We would propose responsible use of alcohol.”
I’ve never met a priest who didn’t enjoy a whisky.
One thing is for sure. The restaurant and bar game is brutal…and petty AF.
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